Prudence or Compromise?
Pro-life advocates must be careful not to compromise their principles when they work to save as many children as they can

Here’s a link to Jason’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haKxTJVLN8w

Auto-generated Transcript
 Hello friends. Welcome to the Case for Life podcast. I’m your host, Scott Klusendorf, president of Life Training Institute, and our aim here is to help you think clearly on pro-life issues. Today I have a special friend with me, a guy I’ve grown to appreciate and value over the last year or so. His name is Jason Storms.

He’s with Operation Save America. Jason is a pastor. He is a guy who is passionate about defending the lives of the unborn. And I love the phrase in the Bible about iron, Sharpening iron, and this is a brother that I feel helps me do that. And we have been able to help each other think clearly about things.

And one of the things I appreciate about Jason, he’s not only a sharp thinker, not only a passionate defender of the lives of the unborn, and he’s godly, but also that even though he and I disagree on a few points around the edges. We have been able to model, I think a very civil engagement and we have helped each other think rather than attack one another needlessly.

And I really appreciate that about you, Jason, your willingness to be a thoughtful brother who can challenge, you’re not afraid to challenge, but you’re also very gracious in the way you do it. And it’s a joy to have you with us today. Well, it’s a pleasure to be with you, Scott. Thank you very much. So our listeners can know a little bit about you.

Give us, I, I, your story is very powerful, your testimony about your early life and how you came into the movement of saving children. Can you give us a, a thumbnail sketch of that? Yeah. Uh, I grew up, uh, grew up in a broken family. Mom was a teenager, had me and my brother, you know, was pressured to abort us.

Thankfully she didn’t, she couldn’t do that. And, uh, but you know, we, we, we grew up, grew up wild. Um, and so, uh, you know, I mean, kind of typical products of the culture and, uh, at, uh, oddly enough, my dad was a pastor in New Orleans. And so, but I, I didn’t see him a lot and interact with him through a lot of my childhood, although I did.

Did spend time with him, lived with him for, for, for short stints and visited him at different stints in my childhood, in new Orleans, and, uh, saw real Christianity, you know, and it impacted me. But, uh, at 14 years old, I walked away from, I, I denounced Christianity, officially kinda spiral downwards, seeking for, you know, what is the purpose of life.

And, uh, wound up basically a homeless drug addict at, uh, 18 years old, living in San Jose, California. And, uh, you know, had a girlfriend who had an abortion. I was very consenting to that and sort of just, you know, indifferent to it. Uh, ended up, uh, kind of hitting bottom. My dad reached out to me, invited me to come to New Orleans, and bought me a bus ticket to, uh, to head down there.

I turned 19 on a Greyhound bus in, uh, the middle of Texas. And so four days on that bus, the Lord was convicting me, got into new Orleans with my dad, and, uh, he was having a Bible study at his little apartment. He had it there in, in the city. And, uh. Just the words of scripture jumping off the page at me.

And, uh, just the, the sincerity of the people and, uh, their kindness, their love, just Christ shining and radiating through them just was powerful. And so after a couple weeks of wrestling with my dad, you know, I had all these questions, you know, well, why would God make the world and send everybody to hell and all this kinda stuff, you know, I, how can you trust the Bible?

You know? So he, my dad just patiently worked through, through my skepticism with me. Brought me to church and I, you know, felt the presence of God there powerfully. And, uh, knew I was a sinner. And so it was broken before the Lord and he drew me to himself and, uh, you know, deep repentance and transformation of my life at 19 years old.

And, uh, then my dad began to take me to a abortion clinic. Uh, to minister the gospel and to, to reach out to the women there. And I was confronted, you know, with what I had been consenting to just, just a year previously. And, uh, you know, my heart broke in seeing the reality of abortion, seeing what, what takes place there, what abortion really is, you know, stripping away the euphemisms and, uh, the rhetoric and really just looking at.

Uh, the body of a little, uh, dismembered human being and, uh, and, and studying that out and, uh, you know, really grabbed my heart. And so I had a passion for evangelism and for the pre-born and, uh, been, been, I. Engaged in that fight now for twenty-six years. And so been blessed to, uh, work with a lot of good people around the country.

And, uh, Lord has blessed me with, uh, a beautiful family now and we’ve run a, run a construction business. And, uh, we just had our 11th child blessed to homeschool 11 children. And, uh, seeing my kids now and my adult children. You’ve met, uh, I think, no, you met my daughter Julia. Uh, you know, you know, to see my kids now standing, you know, carrying, taking the baton and standing on the front lines and, uh, being an influence of the culture.

Speaking of standing on the front lines, you recently testified in front of a Wisconsin house committee. Uh, I watched that video. It was powerful. Bring us in on what your main points were to that committee and what you saw as some deficiencies in the way they were approaching the abortion issue. Yeah.

As you know, Scott, there’s, there’s this move within the Republican leadership, which, which really is not anything new, I would say. They’re just being more explicit about what they’ve Yep. They’ve sort of held in private previously. And that is that, you know, we need to distance ourselves from the abortion issue.

We can’t win on this. Uh, we’re gonna lose the ballot. And if we lose power, well then we’re giving. We’re giving power over to the Democrats and they’re gonna be far worse. So, you know, you’re better off, at least with us, at least you’re gonna get some things, you know? And so this has sort of been the position that pro-lifers have been in for a long time.

Principled pro-lifers who care about this issue and stand, you know, wanna stand on principle. And so, you know, we’ve seen that in our state of Wisconsin where we just lost last year a big governor’s race. Uh, and then we lost a big state Supreme Court race. And so our state Supreme Court has shifted. And so, uh, the prevailing consensus of, of, of a lot of, uh, people is, well, we lost an abortion.

The Democrats spent a ton of money in their campaign talking about abortion. Uh, and so the, the, the prevailing consensus is, well, we, we can’t win. Look it, we lost, you know, they made abortion a big part of the campaign, and, uh, we were defeated. But here’s the reality. The both candidates, both Republican candidates.

In both situations, they never responded to all the attacks against, uh, against them. They never gave a passionate and articulate and persuasive voice to the pro-life position. They just were silent. They hid, they didn’t want to engage the issue. And obviously if you don’t engage the issue, you’re gonna lose when you let the other side.

Dictate the narrative and frame the discussion. Of course, you’re gonna lose. So my argument to the, the, the, the re, you know, it’s, we have a republican supermajority still in our legislature, and so this is a Republican controlled committee. And what they were doing is they were bringing forth a bill to legalize abortion up to 14 weeks in our state, but they weren’t just trying to pass a bill to legalize abortion.

What the bill was gonna do is put it on. The ballot for the people to decide. And they were so, they’re really kind of gonna be a Pontius Pilate. We, we wash our hands of this, uh, this is what the people want. We’re gonna let the people vote and decide. We didn’t, we didn’t decide. This wasn’t our decision.

Uh, when in reality, you know, it certainly was. And so, you know, I, I called them out on it. I said, this is cowardice. You know, this is, you sure did. Yeah, this is, this is, this is, this is a failure of backbone. You know, this is not a debate over tax rates. We’re talking about the killing of precious little human beings made in God’s image.

The very foundation of, of our, our system of government, of our value system here in this country. And, uh, cuts to the very core of. Human rights and human dignity. And if we can’t stand on that and articulate that and defend that, then, then what are we, what are we fighting for? We’ve already lost the game.

And so I just encouraged those guys to stand on principle, you know, and, and of course many of them professed to be Christians. Many of them even said in the hearings, you know, I’m a hundred percent pro-life. But, and then they began to give reasons why, uh, a fourteen-week man was acceptable to them and reasonable.

And so I said, it’s not reasonable, you know, I said to them, you can’t get an abortion in France, liberal France after 12 weeks. Yeah. So your idea was powerful, reasonable. Yeah. Your idea of a reasonable pro-life compromise is something that would be considered liberal and liberal France, you know, how absurd.

And so it’s really just, it’s not indicative of where the culture is per se, in a state like Wisconsin, where where you can stand on a pro-life position and win. Uh, it’s indicative of the cowardice of the Republican party in their lack of seeing abortion for what it is. You know, I think a lot of these guys, even the ones that profess to be pro-life, they just really don’t have, I think, the proper heart on the matter and understand what it is we’re talking about and seeing the horrific reality of abortion.

I think it needs to come into focus for them, uh, because, because, you know, they speak about it so dispassionately, they speak about it as though it’s sort of just. Another issue and well, you know, yeah, this is just an issue. Abortion something, you know, I’m pro-life, but, and so, you know, it’s like when you really understand the reality of what is taking place inside abortion clinics and the depravity of that and how pervasive it is across our culture and what it has done to the conscience of our nation, of course, you, you know, you, you’re gonna be motivated to speak.

With some passion. And it’s like if we’re not outraged, if if, if we who are pro-life are not outraged about it, how can we expect the culture to be outraged? We can’t persuade hearts and minds if we speak on it passionately and persuasively and our Republican leaders have just simply failed to do that.

Yeah, there’s a real problem with our politicians saying they are willing to settle for a fifteen-week ban and go no further and stop there. And I don’t care if you view yourself as an incrementalist or not, that ought to bother you. Whatever your pro-life per perception is because. There’s no excuse when you have a supermajority.

We’ve got Roe, v. Wade out of the way. There is no excuse for not pushing for much stronger legislation than a lot of our politicians want to do. And I thought your rebuke to the committee was both pastoral and thoughtful, and we’re gonna link to it in the show notes so people can actually see what you said to that committee.

But it’s a message that a lot of pro-lifers don’t want to. Stand up and fight for, and, and especially in our political classes, they seem content to just want to keep the status quo and that’s not gonna get it done. And I loved what you said, we gotta stand up and fight for this stuff. You know, it’s funny, when you stand up and fight, you win a few battles, but you’re gonna miss a hundred percent of the swings you never take.

That’s, and a lot of people on our side, I think, don’t wanna fight. They, they just want this issue to go away. And when Pro-Lifers work to help them and aid in making the issue just go away, this is not good for our side. A hundred percent. Yeah. There’s a difference between, you know, being pragmatic about how do we save as many lives as we can versus this kind of pragmatism of how do I save myself, how do I avoid Yes.

Personal hardship? How do I avoid, you know, and this is the, that is the pragmatism that has captured much of the Republican leadership. You know, well imagine if we had governor. Yeah, imagine if we had a governor, uh, that said this, I’m against spousal abuse, but I don’t wanna ban it outright because after all, there are some men that you know, hey, they’ve never learned to stop being boys.

And boys will be boys and they may knock their wives around a little bit if their wives burn. Supper don’t have the house clean or withhold things the man may want. So to be pragmatic, I think what we need to do is say. You can’t beat your wife if she’s younger than 50. But, uh, if you do that, you’re settling on a principle that’s very different than a governor who is committed to saving all women from spousal abuse, but he doesn’t have the votes to do it.

So he keeps coming back for more and more and more. He’ll save as many as he can along the way, but he will never accept the principle that it’s okay to set some women aside to be abused. He will fight until he can save them all. And what concerns me right now about a lot of our Republican leaders from Donald Trump on down, I’m hearing people say, let’s go for a national 15 week ban and make that our stopping point.

And I’m like, no way. You can’t do that. That’s a compromise position. Yep. Yeah, it’s an absurdity and, and, uh. We lose, we, we lose credibility when we say things like that because even, even the radical parole boards are pointing out and they pointed out in that committee hearing. And of course we hear on the streets and campuses and, you know, all the time in public discourse, you know, you, you claim that you believe these are babies that are being murdered, that are, that, that this, this is the killing of an innocent human being and yet.

You think a fifteen-week ban is acceptable, you’re going to offer that, you know, uh, as a sacrifice, you know, on the altar of convenience. Uh, and so, you know, as, as you know, and you take a, you know, we both are our apologists and take apologetics very seriously, and I’ve, I’ve learned much from you over the years in that you’ve done phenomenal work in the area of pro-life.

Apologetics. And, you know, the arguments matter and the arguments matter when it comes to, to policy. And I think. Principle and logical and moral consistency should be driving our policy decisions, not just looking for the path of least resistance and where we can lock arms with our enemies. You know? Uh, it’s, but, but if, if we, if we can strongly articulate our core fundamental principle, these are human beings, I.

Made in the image of God from the moment of conception and we can, we can showcase and highlight the beauty of that precious embryo, that precious fetus of that precious baby growing in the womb. And we can, we can really highlight that, make, stand on that, articulate that, show that to people. Um. And then say, what’s wrong with protecting these human beings?

Protecting every single one of them. That’s our position without compromise, because to do anything other than that, then we’re, we’re, we’re now Compromising our moral principles. We’re now undermining our very core argument and it’s taking the wind out of our own sails. And so a lot of times I think what happens when you do things like a fifteen-week ban and these, these types of things is.

There’s a lot of collateral damage that is not even realized, aside from the fact that, that you’re, you’re leaving out ninety-five ninety-nine percent of abortions. It is, you know, it’s like, here, here’s an example. You know, in South Dakota years ago, they, they passed or they, they put a referendum on the ballot, A life of conception.

And it lost 55. 45. And they came back and they said, well, you know, people want rape and incest exceptions. And that’s, that’s what the, the other side attacked. Oh my goodness. There’s no exceptions for rape. What about a fourteen-year-old girl that’s raped and they’re great at telling those stories, but so, you know, they came back a year or two later and they put, put it in the ballot life of conception, but they put exceptions for rape and incest.

And guess what? It lost again. 55. 45. It didn’t persuade people in the middle. So there’s a, there’s, there’s, I think, a delusion. And, and, and I think some people do this intentionally, but others are just, I think, naive in this. But you know what, what are we gaining by putting in these compromises? Do we really think that that that radical pro-abortion people are strongly committed, pro-choice People are gonna be like, oh, that’s more reasonable.

Now I’ll side with you pro-lifers. Yeah. You know, these people are not our friends and they’re not going to side with us. No, no. We can, you know, we can say, well, let’s do a heartbeat bill. How about a six week? Is that reasonable? No, for them, it’s not reasonable. And they’re gonna, they’re gonna say arguments.

They’re gonna, of course, find the weakest link in an argument and go for that and attack that. But, uh, giving them a concession on that argument doesn’t pacify them. Uh, you know, as you know. Yeah. Uh, here’s a, here’s a reality, right? We have. In all the states that have banned abortion, uh, you know, and, and our state, Wisconsin was one of those states.

We had a law from 18 forty-nine that went into effect after Dobs. And so for a year and a half, our abortion clinics were closed. Abortion went under our homicide statutes. I. And, uh, and we, and we had a Democrat governor and Republican legislator that was sort of at a stalemate. The Republican leadership wanted to soften that bill.

They didn’t wanna defend it, you know, uh, but the Democrat, you know, he wasn’t gonna accept any compromises. And, uh, he’s already said he’s in a veto of the fourteen-week ban. Um, so, but in our state, of course, there’s no punishment for the mothers. And, you know, that’s a controversial topic, you know, you and I can, can, can hash through.

But, um, so, so moms in our state. In every state that’s been in abortion, they can still get, uh, order abortion pills, get them delivered to their home, and have self-managed abortions. So if a fifteen-year-old girl is raped, can still order abortion pills and have an abortion. Within legal immunity in every state in this country.

But what are the Advertisements in the campaign commercials that were being run in our state that are being run in every, every state that they’ve been abortion is, is they, they, they’re saying, oh my goodness. Uh, you know, the Republicans are so radical. Uh, you know, women who are raped can, can’t get an abortion.

They’re forced to go to another state. They’re forced to. Um, but that’s not even true. Like, uh, so, so they’re not even being honest about the, the, the present reality. So again, uh. You know, capitulating to them, capitulating to their arguments is not how we win. In fact, it’s, it’s proven to be a recipe of how we continue to be defeated and I think we need to stop doing that.

Clear princip as you to that committee, was there anybody that was tracking with you that you felt was understanding what you were trying to say, or was it no one really was, what, what was your read on that? Yeah, there was definitely people, you know, and there was a few that we’d had communication with.

You know, there was a guy in the committee who I knocked doors for and, uh, you know, he, he, he spoke to some of our people in the hallway prior to and afterwards and said he’s wrestling over rather to do it. So here’s the dynamic is the speaker of our house and in our state, his name’s Robin Voss. He is the epitome of a, you know, of a swamp dwelling rhino.

Right. Um. Shrewd policy race? Yeah. Yes. Uh, uh, uh, he, he, he is a shrewd politician. He, uh, has won a lot of elections in our state. Uh, you know, and like I said, we have a Republican supermajority, but he goes to the Republicans in the caucus and he tells them, you will not talk about abortion. You will not talk about it on the floor.

You won’t talk about it on the campaign trail. Uh, we’re not gonna talk about abortion. You, we, you’ll get one pro-life bill each legislative session and it better not be too Yep. Too extreme. And he literally has, has punished pro-life, uh, Legislators by drawing them outta their own district. He’s redrawn their district.

I. You know, and, and you know, they, they have a consolidation of power in our, so he pulls ’em off of committees, strips their name off of any bills, and just neutralizes them. Demonizes them, and then of course, even will run primary candidates against them. And from the Republican party coffers, they will fund primary challengers to unseat sitting Republicans because they dare to challenge him and stand up and speak about the issue of abortion in a way that he doesn’t approve of.

So, so this was really his baby. This was his baby in our state. He pushed this through very quickly. And the Yep. The, that, that committee, looking at the faces of many of the Republicans, they could see the truth of what I was saying and I could see a lot of shame in their faces. And they understood, I think a lot of what I was saying.

Uh, but they were a, they’re, they’re more afraid of Robin Voss than they are of I. The pro-life voting base. And it’s why I emphasized in there that, you know, look it, we’re gonna come expose you in your district and we have to do that. And, and if necessary, we’ll run a primary challenger against you.

’cause if you won’t stand on this principle, should they’re be pried. They should, they should be. They need to be, you know, I mean, and we have to be willing to play, play political, hardball, and not accept the excuses that they’re gonna say is, well Jason, I’m between a rock and hard place here. You know, uh, you gotta be understanding.

Well, you know, you’re, we reluctant you to stand on life. If you can’t do that, then we’ve gotta find somebody else who’s willing to do that. And, uh. Yeah. I think that we gotta be very insistent that our politicians walk the talk and when they are willing to settle for setting aside an entire class of human beings that they will acceptably say, we can kill.

That’s just not something principled pro-lifers can allow to happen. And that is, again, very different than pushing to protect all children, but finding in the, the heat of the legislative moment, you don’t have the votes to protect all of ’em. So you protect as many as you can, but then you come right back to get the rest.

You don’t ever give up. It’s what Doug Wilson calls Smash-mouth incrementalism. The idea that we’re not going away until we protect all of them. And uh, that leads to something you brought up a moment ago and I thought I’d. Go ahead and just go there. Uh, you brought up, right, uh, there’s discussion about what penalties should be for women who have abortions in states where it’s been outlawed.

Uh, go ahead and speak to that. ’cause you and I have had some friendly discussions about this. We don’t necessarily see eye to eye on it, but one of the things again, I really appreciate about you is we can sit down and have a conversation about this and we don’t attribute to each other the worst possible motives.

We don’t poison the well. We talk about these things and there has been a lot of friction between abolitionists and pro-lifers that has been nasty. We’ll say both sides. And I think there’s a way to model a discussion that involves, Hey, let’s put forth our positions and do our best to make our case and see where it all, you know, hashes out.

And I think that’s what we’ve tried to do, but go ahead and speak to this issue of what the consequences should be. If a woman were to have an abortion in a state where it’s outlawed. Great question. Excuse me. And, uh, I, I would just echo and heartily agree with you that, that, you know, we should be able to speak with respect to each other, you know, and, and, uh, even when we disagree on this, you know, you look at the enemies that are arrayed against us culturally, the enemies of Christ, the enemies of the values we hold dear.

Um, you know, my disagreements with you, Scott, are not something that’s going to cause me to. You know, stop pointing my gun down range and turn and point it at somebody who’s on my side. I know that you’re not in this for the money and you know, you’ve been, that’s been a, you know, one of the things that’s been said about you and that’s, it’s unfortunately there are some abolitionists that will, will, will make those types of ad hominem attacks and that’s not helpful.

Um. You know, you obviously could be having a much more peaceful life in somewhere in corporate America making a lot more money than you make without all the headache and death threats and attacks that you get from the pro-abortion world. So I know that you know, you, you stand and fight for this because you’re passionate about it and it’s with much sacrifice that you do that.

And, and I applaud that. And, uh, you’re a brother in Christ and getting to sit down and talk to you and, and hear your heart and see you, you know, I know that. You’re a brother in Christ and I should see and view you as such, even when we disagree and uh, and, and we can have those discussions, you know, in a setting like this or even privately, you know, as we’ve done at your place where we can sit down and, and calmly discuss the issues and have, have a passionate back and forth, but respectfully as brothers in Christ.

And then we, we, we go fight. Are real enemies. You know, you’re, you’re not the reason why. That’s right. Abortion is still legal and neither are the really committed pro-life people. And, you know, you’ve made this argument before that I think is, is helpful for I think some abolitionists to, to understand, uh, who can paint with too broad of a, of a brush sometimes about the pro-life movement as though as though it’s some just blob, it’s some monolithic entity that is systematically.

Systematically trying to keep abortion legal and deceive the masses. Um, there are pro-life organizations that I think are deeply compromised that I would not align myself with. There are pro-life organizations that I think are well intentioned, but are, are, are weak and just sort of push over much like, uh, a lot of the modern evangelical church, the squishy.

Evangelicaly fish, you know, the squishy seeker friendly. Uh, I don’t think many times those people are ill-motivated. I think they’re doing what they think is, is helpful in bringing people to Christ or in accomplishing things. I think there’s just a lack of courage and fortitude. I. That, that is needed in, in this fight.

And so, um, you know, that’s where I think, you know, what abolitionists have tried to bring to the table that has been helpful is, is, is some fight and some spunk and some passion, and some, Hey, babies are being murdered. Let’s act like it. So, um, you know, again, I think dialogue is very helpful. Uh, but also, you know, a, a good dose of humility and a good dose of charity goes a long way in these discussions in helping us actually protect lives and, and glorify Christ as, as we need to do so.

Uh. Into the topic of mothers and punishments from mothers. Um, you know, I think my position in one sense is quite simple. Uh, although there, there is obviously a lot of nuance that can be fleshed out about it. But I think the, the argument would be simply this, that if, if a mother knowingly understands what she’s doing, she’s not being coerced, she understands that she has a baby growing inside of her.

And she chooses to go and kill that child or seek the, the killing of that child. She needs to be held accountable by law. Uh, and that’s because, uh, that’s the way that the law works. That’s how justice works. Um, you know, and, and so it’s not that we want. Now, I know there are some pro-lifers who say a woman who has an abortion should never have any consequences.

That’s actually not my position. My position is there should be consequences for intentionally killing an innocent human being. But as to what those consequences will be, is going to turn on a number of factors that reflect the realities of our legal system at the moment and reflect how we are approaching saving children moving forward.

Uh, you used a very important term a moment ago about a woman knowing, and I think that’s where there’s a bit of a. A gray area where we say, okay, a woman knows what she’s doing. She knows she’s having an abortion. She knows she’s killing her child. And that may be true, but the legal threshold being that to prove that the mother is a co-conspirator with the doctor, and in order to prosecute her for murder, the way you might wanna prosecute or hopefully would prosecute the doctor for murder, you’re going to have to prove that she has an exact understanding of the act.

As he does, they’ve got a match perfectly. A meeting of the minds is the legal term for it, and the idea being that if you cannot prove that she has an exact match of the meeting of the minds, they certainly do meet with the minds and that they agree to the abortion. But beyond that, there is the issue that the abortion doctor knows things different than the mother.

Now, as Christians, you and I could say, well, wait a minute. That woman in her heart of hearts knows what she’s doing is sinful and wrong, and I would concur with that. But the legal threshold is different in the sense that they, they demand an exact match. And so that does present some challenges as to how we prosecute.

So my position has been we should prosecute the mothers, and I would prosecute them at this point for a lesser crime, namely a conspiracy to do an illegal act. And as the culture and juries and DAs become more willing to prosecute, then the penalties can increase and change to reflect that reality. Uh, yeah.

Interesting. So, um, yeah, I don’t disagree with, with a lot of that, although I do disagree with some of that, so, um, that’s okay. That’s why we’re friends that Yeah. Discuss I think, I think what, and, and I’m, and I’m happy to hear you say obviously that there has to be some accountability because I think that’s, that’s an important there does threshold there and, and in, in, in the posture of say, national right to Life, Susan B.

Anthony, some bigger lobbying groups, I mean, they’ve just come out unequivocally. There should never. Ever be a situation where we wanna punish women. And I, I just think that’s ludicrous. And what I, I think, I think even they know that that’s not a logically consistent position. I think they’re doing that because they know that that’s, I think they’re trying to take that argument off the table and it’s, it’s a very pragmatic strategic maneuver.

The problem is, of course, is let’s say. You know, we consent, I consent to the argument and say, okay, many women don’t actually know what they’re doing. There is a profound ignorance here, and they don’t realize they’re actually killing a human life. Well, if that were, you know, and there’s, they’re in some sense victims of a, of a deranged culture that’s misled them and of an abortion in industry that has, uh, lied to them, you know, which certainly is true to a certain extent, I think.

I think, you know. Every young person growing up in this culture is in one sense, a victim of gross propaganda and, uh, seduction and all sorts of things, but that doesn’t take away personal culpability. Right. Um, so I think the, the, the, uh, the question that I would ask many of the pro-life leaders and have is, is, okay, how do we get to this place if women are genuinely ignorant?

That they’re killing a human life. Well then the pro-life movement certainly has to bear some culpability in that, because we’ve been saying the same exact thing we’ve been saying, you’re victims, you don’t know what you’re doing. So you know the way, the way that you, you know, it’s kind of like the argument.

If you find yourself in a hole and you’ve dug yourself into a hole, what’s the first thing you do? Well, you stop digging. You know? Yeah. And so we need to stop. We need to stop saying, mothers are victims. We need to stop saying women don’t know what they’re doing. We need to start saying, mom, you have a baby.

You know, we need to, you know, and as you know, the, the apologetic. Arguments, the, the, the, the arguments that we try to bring to the culture and with ultrasound technology, you know, with the work of many pro-life and abolitionist groups around the country who are bringing this argument to the streets and to the culture and engaging.

Um, you know, I think that we’re at a place where the vast majority of of women who get abortions know very well what they’re doing. They know that they’re killing a little human life. And so, um, but I. Here’s where the argument, I think where, where there, where there’s talking past each other on this at times, um, is there’s a difference between say what a prosecutor and a judge is going to render, say in sentencing versus, you know, what a jury is going to say in terms of just guilt or innocence, right?

So there’s a difference between how we write laws and then how those laws. Uh, are applied in individual situations in terms of the sentencing, you know, uh, give to, give some examples, right? So a mother, let’s say, who kills, uh, her one-year-old child, right? Drowns her or, or, or shakes her in a fit of rage and kills the child, or, you know, or is, is, is, you know, passes out on drugs and rolls over her and, and suffocates the baby.

Different scenarios where in all those situations. That baby is afforded full equal protection under the law. You know, our laws don’t say, uh, you, you know, it’s, it’s murder to kill an infant, but here are the exceptions. We don’t write exceptions or exemptions into the law for any other class of human beings.

We never write a law that says, you know, mur, you know, murdering an infant. Killing an infant is murder. But if the mom does it, we don’t wanna put moms in jail. And so we’re gonna explicitly exempt them from punishment. You know, you don’t write laws that way. That’s up to the discretion of, of, uh, prosecutors and judges, right?

And so they’re gonna look at the case and they’re gonna look at, uh, the, you know, the mother maybe will be, will be guilty of killing her child. But in terms of the punishment. That’s executed that, that’s up to the discretion of the prosecutors and gauging culpability and intent and motive and premeditation and all those various factors that go into, say, manslaughter, first, second, third degree homicide in the different ways that we parse that out, which of course we even see in Scripture and, uh, that, that, you know, premeditation.

Lying in, wait to kill somebody versus, uh, in, in the heat of a passion or self-defense, these different things constitute different categories of, of manslaughter versus homicide and what degree of homicide. So, so clearly there’s gonna be some nuance when mothers abort their children in there in terms of culpability, you know, uh, another analogy or example I’d use to say, for example.

Uh, you know, gang activity, uh, there’s, there’s, there’s thousands of people that are killed through, through violent gangs, drive-by shootings. So you, you imagine a carload of young gang members go into a drive-by shooting. Well say you got a 30-year-old gang member in there who’s got a long rap sheet, has murdered people in the past, been to prison leading the gang, and he is got his 15-year-old little cousin in there who, this is his first time ever doing this, has been Pressured by the gang, was just jumped into the gang.

Uh, they both. Are pulling the triggers of their weapons, both murder people. The law applies equally. You killed a person because that person has value, because that person you killed has value across the board. Our law says you killed that person. You’re gonna be held accountable. Anybody involved in the killing of that person is going to be held accountable.

We want equal justice. Yet prosecutors of course, have the discretion to look at that and see this person is far more culpable in the act than this person, and they can show leniency and to extend mercy. Uh. You know, to that young gang member, right. For example, in that situation. So even in this, you know, if we have a, so all that to say, if we have a law that says, for example, like the law we have in Georgia, you and I have discussed our bill of equal protection in Georgia, our bill of, of equal protection in Georgia.

All it simply says is, you know, it doesn’t say anything about punishing mothers. It doesn’t say anything about mothers at all. It just simply says. Treat pre-born children. Like born children, the same laws that apply to a born child. We’re gonna apply that law to a pre-born child. And so the same type of discretionary considerations in any murder, any homicide, any killing are obviously gonna still be weighed and taken into consideration in the killing of the pre-born child, right?

And so discretion. And mercy and leniency can be of course, shown to a mother depending on a wide variety of factors. Certainly if she’s coerced, uh, or anything like that in, in your mind, Jason, would it be a compromise for pro-lifers to say, let’s pass a bill? Protecting all unborn children from conception?

The law says you cannot have an abortion at any point in the pregnancy from conception through birth, but the law does not expressly. Prosecute women for murder. And, and the reason why the pro-lifer would write that bill is this, that it could, if you, you are known for having a bill that allows for women to be prosecuted for murder.

You put unborn lives at risk in other states where there are lawmakers reluctant to pass. Pro-life legislation with teeth in it protecting all children, and it will scare skittish, pro-lifers, like the ones you testified in front of in Wisconsin, from doing anything substantial to protect these children.

If you took the penalty out for the sake of making sure we could protect more children elsewhere, would that be a compromise in principle or would that just be a prudent move for now until we get the culture more aligned with a, a biblical worldview on pro-life. Um, yeah, well, I would say it would be a compromising principle, um, but I don’t think a compromising principle necessarily is, is wrong in a given context.

There can be a time, for example, to lie, to save a life. Well, I’m thinking for example that, go ahead. Yeah. I say, but I, I think it’s, I think it, I think it would be a, I don’t think that would be a prudent move because I think what that is doing is it’s capitulating two. The very source of the problem in, for example, pro-life states, which is the lack of fortitude in our Republican leaders to do what they know they ought to do.

And so I think that one, we need, we need to example courage and a passionate, straightforward approach to the issue where we stand and say, these are babies that are being murdered. We believe that, and we’re gonna act like that. And we expect you to act like that. And, and we’re gonna have the debate.

We’re gonna have the discussion, but we’re not gonna soften the force of reason and logic and, and moral weight that we’re gonna bring to bear upon you. And, and, and we’re going to bring that heavy weight of the force of logic to shore up the, the, the weak individuals who are going to want to be squeamish, right?

And so I think we need, we need leaders. Who will stand firm and confident when others are faltering and say, no, here we stand. We can do no other. We have to stand upon this principle. These are babies. Every single one of ’em needs to be protected without compromise. But then the other side of that as well, that I think is important here is, is you know, we, I think it’s important we lead with our strongest arguments and, and our policies should follow.

The force and the strength of our strongest principle positions, right? Our principles should drive policy and the force and the weight and the strength of our arguments should be what drive policy. And I think that’s a one of the big problems when we say we make a persuasive argument and a passionate argument that is compelling for the humanity of the pre-born child.

And we say, you know, life begins a conception and we lay this out in that you are a human being deserving of love, deserving of protection. And this is, uh, just a grotesque, horrific evil that we’re tolerating in our culture. But I’m willing to compromise and accept, uh, you know, uh, killing is okay in these circumstances or exemptions can be made in these circumstances.

We undermine all that force and I think pragmatically pr prudentially, that’s, that’s, that’s not helpful. If I understand you correctly, you would though support a bill that banned all abortions from conception, and you would say, we’ll save as many babies as we can. If that was the best you could get out of a state legislature at this particular point in history, you wouldn’t let babies die who could have been saved because there wasn’t a provision for prosecuting the mothers.

And the reason I bring this up is I asked an abolitionist this when he was accusing me. Of wanting murderers to get off Scot-free and participating with Planned Parenthood. That’s what he accused me of. And so I, I tried to be gracious, but I asked the question, Hey, if there were a bill that protected all children from conception.

There wasn’t a provision for prosecuting women for murder. Would you vote to save the babies or would you let those babies die because you couldn’t prosecute the women? And he said he, he didn’t want to answer the question. He was really, in my view, willing to let those children die because he couldn’t prosecute the mothers.

And I don’t hear you saying that. I hear you saying. We should be holistic. Our, our ethics should apply logically and consistently, and we shouldn’t shy away from there being consequences. But is there room within a discussion of people of good faith to say, alright, we all agree that unborn children should be protected from conception, but culturally, we’re gonna have to work out what those consequences look like and what the consequences are today.

Might be a little different than what they are when the culture starts coming around to the pro-life view. Yeah, good question. So I think, you know, there’s, again, there’s a lot of nuance to that. And so, you know, in, in short, my position would be that what is principally right in any given situation must take into consideration the consequences of the actions that, that, uh, there’s, there, there, you know, this is kind of a na a discussion in the nature of ethics, right?

And, and so I think that, um, theoretical. Uh, ideology, though it may be sound and every T’s been crossed and every I doubted is not synonymous with justice and is not synonymous with right, uh, moral action in a given context because there is much more to be considered when you’re making decisions in a fallen world in less than ideal situations, right?

And so I think there’s a danger by those, uh, who hold to, you know, a purest form of ideology that says. Consequences don’t matter, you know? Um, and so, you know, so I’m sympathetic to the idea that, hey, there’s gonna be situations we’re gonna find ourselves in. Where there, where there, there, there is no perfect answer or no perfect solution.

We deal with this in pastoral ministry and counseling all the time. Yep. Where you got, you got a really messed up marriage situation, you know, and, and, and kids are suffering and. There is there, there is no easy answer. There is no perfect solution. There is, you know, it’s, it’s working through the mud and the mess of that, and so I can sympathize with legislators.

I made this point, uh, at a panel discussion we had last summer, and we had Smash, Mouth Incrementals on there. We had abolitionists, we had, and you know, there’s kind of different, different camps within the abolitionist world. There’s the, some people that you know, like myself that I’d say are. Our, uh, you know, I, I, I don’t fight over terms, you know, I, I don’t demand people not use the word pro-life.

Uh, I don’t fight with people about, about that, about semantics. Uh, and you know, there, there are some ablutions that do, and so there’s kind of this, these two different sort of camps. Even within the abolitionist world, just as, of course there’s, there is within the pro-life world. And so there, there’s overlap between, you know, like, like you and I in, in being principled, principally pro-life, being abolitionist and agreeing that we need to, to draw distinctions and hard lines here.

I. Uh, against the compromise we see from the political establishment from the weak pro-life organizations. Um, so, you know, putting it into real, real-time action. Like, uh, an example of what you’re describing would be like what we dealt with in South Carolina last year. So we’ve been working in South Carolina and after the Dobbs decision.

You know, we had a bill of equal protection, which had punishment, equal punishment across the board. There was no exemptions explicitly written into the law for mothers. Right. Which, which is, which is what, what has happened in all these other states. It’s not that, you know, you know, they write a ban against abortion and then they call for leniency.

What they do is they explicitly write, mothers shall not be prosecuted under any circumstances in all these laws. Um, so. We just simply didn’t do that. We just said abortion is is homicide period. And that was our ability, equal protection. And so the same laws that apply to born children. Apply to Preborn children, the same punishments apply.

And again, throwing it that into the hands of prosecutors where there’s discretion. See, you would see, uh, uh, that there could be a good faith discussion between those who say, yeah, culturally, if we’re going to prosecute women for murder, that could harm our efforts to save children elsewhere. We may be mistaken on that, but there’s room for a good faith discussion without attributing, as some have done the worst possible motives to those that disagree.

Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that, that should be taken into consideration. ’cause the goal here is saving lives. You know, we wanna glorify God. And I believe the way that we best glorify God in this fight is by saving lives, by actually protecting children. We, we don’t wanna create a false dichotomy, as some would say.

Well, we just, you know, it’s not about saving lives, it’s about doing right and glorifying God. And if we save babies in that process, then praise the Lord. Well, I think that we should be calculated. That is how we glorify God is that by, by being very calculated in saving lives, doing the best we can to actually end abortion and protect lives.

And so, yeah, I think that that means we have to take into consideration political realities and cultural realities. Yeah. Obviously ability, equal protection is going nowhere in a state like California. You know, and I had this discussion with some of the guys in that panel office. You know, I, I, I think a heartbeat Bill is a bad bill on its face.

I think it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, uh. Logically inconsistent. It’s, it doesn’t present the pro-life position accurately. And miseducates, you know, the didactic function of it, miseducates. And it’s a tool that’s often used by the Republican establishment to maintain the status quo and appear that they did something when they actually didn’t change anything.

In every state that has a heartbeat, bill Devotion rate is almost unchanged. But, so, but if, if a state like California passed a heartbeat, bill, I’d go, I’d be like, wow. California just passed the heart rate. Be quite an improvement. You have certainly done some Yeah. Good work. Limiting the evil done, even if it’s not protecting all children.

Yeah. At least you have limited the evil done to the best of your abilities. Well, yeah. What I would say is it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s, it’s, it’s an indication that the pendulum is swinging back in the direction it should. That’s a move towards justice from, of course, what you have now is abortion up through nine months and probably even beyond.

So yeah, I think that’s, it’s an indication. So, you know, this is an argument. Yeah. The, the, the problem a lot with the argument that a lot of, uh, Abolitionists tend to make is they say, well, that’s unjust, but, and so you’re, you’re, you’re promoting Injustice The problem, the, the problem with that logic is, well, we have a culture where injustice is normative, right?

We already, we already have a culture where, yep. Wholesale slaughter of pre-born children was the norm, and we’re trying to pull back and diminish the, the injustice. We’re trying to do everything we can to minimize the injustice, and that’s a very different mode, an action. And so to describe, you know, to say that, you know, an incremental, an incremental is like yourself or a smash mouth incrementalist like you or Doug Wilson is no different than planned Parenthood.

Uh, is just an absurdity, you know, um, you know, a a a verse that’s used a lot by abolitionists is, you know, as they attend that, the verse about iniquitous decrees, I’m sure you’ve probably heard that phrase before, right? Is uh, you know, that’s an iniquitous decree and so you’re guilty of fomenting the iniquitous decrees.

Uh, but you know, you read the passage there and motive is a massive factor in what’s being denounced. And what, and it, those who, who, who write iniquitous decrees their goal, their motive, their intent is to suppress and oppress the poor, to deprive them of justice’s. That’s very different than a, a principled, pro-life legislator who’s fighting the political establishment, even as fighting his own party to defend lives.

But he falls short in the best that he can get is say, a life of conception bill. That has, has exceptions in it. Uh, he, he didn’t want that. He didn’t choose that, didn’t fight for that. He spoke against that. Um, so the question where the, the question where the rubber meets the road though is, you know, could you vote for that?

And so this is the example I gave. I say, you know, so in South Carolina we had an equal protection bill. It was killed immediately. Right? Right outta the gate. This dead in committee. And so then you had the fight between principal pro-lifers and the establishment Republicans in South Carolina. Right.

Supermajority pro-life state. But you had the GOP didn’t want to, they didn’t want to take the hard fight. They didn’t wanna protect lives. They were, I think in the category of iniquitous decree, they’re trying to say, ah, let’s do the bare minimum. We don’t want to protect these preborn children. Row was outta the way they aimed at only protecting some.

Yes. They said, uh, what, what is the least that we can do to pacify the pro-life constituency? Right. That was a wicked and evil calculation that should be, uh, uh, said to be such. So they came forward with a heartbeat. Bill, the principal pro-lifers, after the equal protection bill was killed, which many of them weren’t even on board with that, but there was some, yeah, there was a, a debate, but they said Life-conception bill.

That’s the compromise. That’s the issue. Yeah. When you aim at it, you intend for it to be compromised, then we have a problem, Houston. But when you are working to save all, but you simply don’t have the political power to save all and you save as many as you can while you remain committed to saving all that’s in a different category than being committed to injustice in principle.

Correct, correct. So, yeah, so that, so that came down to the, in the internal fight, A Life of Conception bill or a heartbeat bill. Yep. Now the Life of conception bill would close the clinics. Um, it would, I believe, save lives. Now there’s a flip side, so, so that, that’s where the debate is. So I, I had this discussion.

I said, man, if I was the legislator and I was the deciding vote between, you know, one of these bills is gonna be passed this legislative session, if you do nothing. Then you just have wide open abortion and demand in your state. You have just zero recognition of the humanity of preborn children. Wide open abortion.

Right. You have a heartbeat bill that’s gonna do basically nothing. It’s going to give the appearance of doing something well, not actually doing something. It’s gonna pacify a. Pro-life angst. It’s going to neutralize pro-life outrage. It’s going to give an appearance, it’s, it is gonna give political cover to the bad guys who are actually killing the real legislative efforts that should be undertaken versus this life of Conception Bill that is going to establish at least a principle in the state of South Carolina that pre-born children are valuable.

Recognize human beings from the moment of conception. Yeah, but then there’s some weaknesses with the punishments. There’s some weaknesses with some exceptions. And equal and, and equal justice is not fully there. Um, could I, could I vote for that bill? And so what I said was, I asked the question hypothetically, if I was the deciding vote, I know this is gonna close clinics and save lives.

This is gonna perpetuate the status quo. These are the two options I can choose to abstain from voting and just say, well, I don’t like either Bill and, and I can respect that position and that’s fine. Um, or if I was the deciding vote. What would I do? Uh, and I said, I can certainly understand I would be very tempted to vote for that bill.

It’d be hard for me not to vote for that bill, even though principally I understand I’m voting for something and, and giving, giving approval to something. Well, that inherently has injustice in it. Is that’s, that, that’s difficult. Well, for you to abstain. Yeah, you could abstain, but then you would be failing to act to save lives that would’ve been saved had you taken a position there.

You might come back for more, but at least you are saving lives from conception. And I wish we had GOP lawmakers with more spine in a post Roe v Wade world. That committed themselves to saying, we’re gonna protect all children from conception at a minimum. Do that. If you wanna have debates over what the consequences should be and how, how, how do we come to fitting consequences given the culture we’re in, given the realities of our legal system?

Fine. Have that debate, but there’s no excuse for not protecting children from conception Now. Yeah, a hundred percent. Especially in a state like South Carolina. Again, we have Republican people. Jason, it’s been good to have you brother. We’re gonna have to wind up here, but thank you for coming on and thank you for your testimony in front of the committee and it’s great to have you as a friend and colleague.

Yeah, it been a great discussion. Love the work you do. Got your book. Case for life. I hardly recommend it. Uh, excellent work. I’m still working through it, so, um, but yes, it, well, thank you brother. Appreciate it’s, appreciate that. And just so our viewers know, I did not pay you to say that. Alright brother.

Bless you. Look forward to listen. I listen. Hope you’re coming down my way soon. I look forward to you visiting again as soon as possible. I was up your way. Uh, last week it was minus seven in St. John’s, Michigan. I don’t know what it’s been like in Wisconsin, but No, thanks. It was brutal to those northern winners.

No, it was brutal. Thankfully it’s warmed up to 40. We have the, the great meltdown now, so, but yeah, we’ll be down in, we got a heat wave right now. Yeah. We’ll be down in Georgia. We’re gonna be pushing our ability equal protection there, so maybe we will, we will, we will, uh, we’ll have, we’ll have further discussion about that.

Um, yeah, we’ll discuss it and hang out. Look forward to that. Thanks for jumping on today. Looking forward to it. Bless you. Thank you, Scott. Take care. You too, brother. Thanks friends for joining us and we look forward to chatting with you next time. I think it’s very important that we get a chance to interact with people that are on our side.

We might have differences on, but we can work together committed to saving as many children as we can. And I appreciate my friend Jason for coming on and sharing his views and look forward to seeing all of you next time.